Just over 1/3 of the U.S. adult population has a 4-year college degree, but as tuition rates skyrocket, many dyslexic families with young people might reasonably ask – “Is it worth it?” or even “Do I even want it?”.

Even if we know in theory that we want our children to pursue their passions, having our son or daughter choose not to go to college might trigger instinctual reactions that we may not have realized we had.

The truth is that there are many careers that don’t require 4-year college degrees and LD students are more likely than others to drop out of a 4-year college. Just 34% of students are likely to complete a 4 year degree within 8 years – compared to 56% of all students within 6 years (read more). Getting mired in course requirements and receiving multiple setbacks and failures can also take its toll on what otherwise could be personally successful years finding one’s way in the real world.

It’s not that there’s not value from a university education – but it doesn’t have to be for everyone – in some cases it may be more of a burden than a stepping stone to something else.

The high school years and the 20’s should be years of thoughtful reflection and strategic exploration. Gap years, especially when planned can be life-changing whether the experiences turned out positive or not.

Entrepreneurs – For entrepreneurs, choosing to go to college can delay the start of real world learning working for a startup or trying to startup a business of your own. There are plenty of opportunities for networking that don’t require school and making money based on your ideas can be quite a boost to self-confidence. For startup entrepreneurs, there are incubators and accelerators, co-working spaces, and speed dating activities especially designed for startups. Many online sales platforms have their own networking groups and forums.

Jobs That Require More Education, But Not the 4-Year College Kind – There are many careers that will require more education than a high school degree, but the paths are very different.

For those working in computers, certifications are often more valuable than a 4- year degree. Look at this list of companies that don’t require a degree.


“When you look at people who don’t go to school and make their way in the world, those are exceptional human beings.

And we should do everything we can to find those people.”

– Google’s former SVP of People Operations Laszlo Bock.


Being a real estate agent has low startup costs compared to many other careers and yet the outcome is usually a solid 6 figure income. You will have to take some real estate courses and pass your real estate exam, but as with other job exam requirements, the real estate license exam comes under Title I of the ADA and testing centers have to provide reasonable accommodations. Learn more about going into real estate HERE.

Artists, Actors and Actresses, Musicians Filmmakers, and other creatives don’t require a 4-year degree; what counts is your portfolio, your screen test or tryout, and performance reel. Other jobs, such as those in the military or technical jobs, require training, but not the 4-year college type. Read more HERE, HERE, HERE, and HERE.


Dyslexia | Dyslexic Advantage